Italian Heritage Month

June is Italian Heritage Month in Canada so of course I’m celebrating!

Italy is known for fashion and luxury brands. My favs are Gucci, Prada and Fendi for accessories. From Prada I have a vintage nylon cross-body that is my “go-to” on the weekends. My “hack” to make this bag useful is by inserting a organizer so my stuff doesn’t tumble around in there. I also have a pair of espardrilles and peep-toes. When buying designer shoes (even on sale) always lean toward the classics. You want to get your money’s worth and wear them for many seasons.

Fendi is all about vintage for me. I have had this backpack and circle bag for many years. I love the double FF pattern.

Gucci is a recent love for me. These bags are pure Italian luxury for me.

Italian style without the hefty price tags? It’s possible but you need to look for it. This patterned bomber jacket was a steal at Winners for $59 and this jumpsuit is a collab between Missoni and Anthropologie. $170 vs $1160.

Taste of Italy is super easy to find in the6ix. My fav spot for a quick bite or an after work prosecco is Sud Forno. Try it! For arancini and polenta fries CIBO is my “go-to” to get my fix.



Fall Trends

I spent this past Saturday shopping at Square One for fall trends. Square One recently had a huge facelift and has upscaled their retail space.
Holt Renfrew migrated from Sherway Gardens to Square One and it is opulent with marble floors and crystal chandeliers. It feels luxurious! I found this great Max Mara hammock bag at Holt’s that’s now #1 on my fall wish list. This ingenious fold and clip design will hold all daily essentials plus more.


  1. Opulence
  2. Embellishment
  3. Plush
  4. 70s
  5. Red
Zara remains the leader of fast fashion. After reviewing the FW collections online it was easy to spot the influences in Zara’s FW line-up.

Prada ostrich feather details -> Zara top with cuff detail

Miu Miu jewelled pumps -> Zara pumps

Shiny details from Altuzarra -> Zara top

Opulence is in the details. Pearl trim on cigarette pants, fringe on jackets, ostrich feathers, rhinestones, sequins OH MY! An opulent piece should be the star so pair it with simple items like black skinny trousers, solid coloured top or a black pencil skirt.
Embellished sneakers are huge! High priced options include Gucci and Puma. There are some great affordable choices at Top Shop, Zara and Hudson’s Bay. This pinky/nude colour is everywhere!
I’m not sold on the plush trend for skirts and coats. I don’t like to add volume to my frame but accessories are fun in plush fabrics. Check your closet to see if you have anything and you can put those funds towards something else to update your look. Here are mine: panda bag and pink puffy mirror charm.
The dominant colour I saw was RED! An easy way to update your wardrobe is to add a red sweater to your wardrobe. Mine is from Nordstrom. I can’t wait to wear it! This dress from Dynamite is a little short to be on trend but the print is clearly influenced by Prada. On this shopping trip I picked up these red satin flats with embellished buckle from Zara. Very on trend and Prada inspired!
Alessandro Michele nails the 70s vibe at Gucci. Reference this collection when shopping this trend.

Denim for Day 5

Another trend in footwear is denim. Denim sandals can be found from expensive designers, like Miu Miu and Jimmy Choo to inexpensive espadrilles.

These Prada Espadrilles give me such great height and I love how they wrap around my ankle numerous times. I like to wear them with cropped jeans or a denim skirt. They make casual Fridays Tres Chic!



Intersection 2 Fashion + Art

I love looking at the influence of art on fashion. An art form I enjoy is collage. Collage is art made from an assemblage of different forms to create a new whole. Many artists have experimented with this form such Matisse and Picasso.

What I like about collage is the layering of mixed media such as photography and paper to create the overall image.

An artist I follow on Instagram is Rebecca Coltorti (@rebeccacoltorti_art). She uses paint and photography to create her fashion images. Her work has been featured in Eclectic Magazine.


Prada’s FW2016 invite used collage as a sort of mood board and it was very representative of the collection with it’s mixed fabrics and use of large and mini bags as accessories.

I created the feature image of this post using a page from my botanical colouring book, and photographs of flowers and the doll. The doll’s maxi skirt is made from the same colouring book page. Her top is pleated tissue paper from a recent Zara online purchase. For more on Fashion and Art click here.


Dressed Up

I recently visited the much talked about Ross Dress for Less in Florida. It is a US chain very similar to Winners or TJ Maxx with a selection of dresses that beats all of them.

My friends rave about the deals and the volume of dresses they purchased. I had to check it out for myself.

I wasn’t super impressed with the store itself. It’s a Winners. Racks of clothes and accessories which means hours of digging to find the gems. I’ll be honest it is not my kind of shopping.

I headed for the dress racks and when I dug in, I became a believer. Great dresses for work, casual weekends and even evening wear. All under $20 US ($28 CAD). I filled up my cart with about 15 to try on. 7 worked out and came in at under $100 US. All different and all work appropriate. I didn’t try on any formal dresses because I’m not really in the market for one. I was looking for prints to add some excitement to my wardrobe.

I plan on wearing this print dress to a New Year’s Eve party with tights and black boots. My favourite dress is this large dot print with green trim. It reminds me of Kate Spade and I love that brand.

Are you a Ross believer? Share what you’ve found.


Paper Art

I received an abundance of Japanese paper for Christmas so I wanted to get straight to work on a design. This dress is inspired by a Prada look from FW2015/16. I love this collection so much and especially this dress with it’s empire waist and mid-century look. Bellissima!




Elsa Schiaparelli had a name no one could pronounce but it was a name everyone knew. They simply referred to her as SCHIAP! and her modern, avant garde designs continue to influence and inspire designers today.

When Elsa designed dresses she felt she was creating art not just clothes. She along with Coco Chanel offered women modern, less constricting clothing in the 1920s and 30s. She drew inspiration from sports uniforms and took them into everyday apparel.

eveningskeleWhen Elsa began designing evening wear her creativity knew no bounds.  Gowns and dress jackets were heavily embellished with palettes, mirrors, pearls and gold embroidery. Opposite to this was the minimalist skeleton dress that used trapunto quilting to create bones on a stark black plain. The skeleton motif has been reincarnated many times on the runway.

In 2012, the Costume Institute at the MET in New York held an exhibit where Miuccia Prada and Elsa Schiaparelli had a conversation about fashion and design. It was favourite show to date! The show juxaposed Prada and Schiaparelli designs so visitors could see the parallels and influence. There was also a film by Baz Luhrmann that played in the background showing the 2 designers having dinner and conversing. Elsa Schiaparelli was played by English actress Julie Christie. One topic the designers explored was Waist Up/Waist Down. Elsa designed for a cafe society where women were seated and on display so waist up was important. Prada focuses her attention waist down to the organic, earth bound female. Evidence for this is Schiaparelli embellished jackets, Prada embellishes skirts.

Here are two images from the show catalogue that represent this idea:


I chose to do an embellished jacket for the doll. I used different papers to create a parrot which is a nod to a costume Elsa wore to a party in 1952.


The Little Book of Schiaparelli by Emma Baker Wright

Schiaparelli & Prada Impossible Conversations


Lead Image, Parrot costume, dresses – from The Little Book of Schiaparelli by Emma Baker Wright

Schiaparelli Suit, Prada Skirt – Schiaparelli & Prada Impossible Conversations

Doll – Lori Tonizzo

Family Jewels

Vintage jewellery is always appealing and it doesn’t have to be a family heirloom to be cherished. There are many great markets and vintage clothing & jewellery shows to hunt for special pieces no matter where you live.

The necklace in the lead photo I purchased at a Toronto show previously the Old Clothing Sale, now called the Toronto Vintage Clothing Sale. The show will be held October 3 and 4, 2015 at the Queen Elizabeth Building at Exhibition Place. I’ll definitely be posting my treasure from the sale.

prda_broochbroochBrooches are a huge trend for FW 2015/16. I especially like the plexiglass and crystal ones from Prada. The brooch to the right was my grandmother’s. She purchased it in Toronto sometime in the 1950s. It’s very fine and elegant with pearl accents. I like to pair it with the more edgy looking double chain link necklace.

Another interesting piece from my collection is this mosaic cross IMG_1122pendant. I love the colours and the detailed lettering of the word ROMA. It was possibly someone’s souvenir purchase on a visit to that city. I attached it to a string of coloured and jet black beads I had from other necklaces. It reminds me of the Dolce and Gabanna esthetic with their use of black lace and iconography.


The Prada brooches provided the inspo to try a paper idea. I took a couple of brooches with unique but recognizable shapes and created a paper background for them. Don’t know how they’ll hold up on a lapel all day but it’s worth a try.

paper1Here’s another cool paper option. I pick these pins up at The Paper Place whenever I’m stocking up on japanese paper. paper2They look really cool on jean jackets and add a pop of colour to suit jackets. They’re a very unexpected accessory.


Lead photo and brooch photo – Lori Tonizzo

Prada image – Prada website

Cross pendant, Paper Art photos – Lori Tonizzo


FW 2015/16 is a season of delights. I feel overloaded with trends so I’ve focused on the 3 you need to up your style game.


Tailored suits were featured on almost all fall runways. A suit is always a great investment because of it’s versatility it is the work horse of any wardrobe. Broken apart the jacket and trousers can be paired separately to create other looks. Dress the suit down with a t-shirt and sneakers or dress it up with a shimmery top and stilettos. Wear the jacket as an overcoat with a cashmere pullover underneath. These are just a few possibilities. The standout was PRADA. Severe tailoring on the narrow cropped trousers and fitted blazers is softened by the colour palette. Paired with the”inside” bag and you’re ready for serious work or serious fun.

IMG_0039 prada_suit

  • A LA MOD

The mod mini dresses at CALVIN KLEIN by Francisco Costa have it all. Style, glitz, attitude and comfort. Think women’s clothes in the movie Man from U.N.C.L.E. This trend is for everyone. If you think it’s too short – layer it over skinny jeans or narrow pants. Add boots and off you go. Sidebar – dresses over pants is another look for fall.

CK_MOD CK_mod2



This trend encompasses Boho and English Eccentricity. It can be long and flowy or have several layers of mixed patterns. It is an anything goes trend. Take this cue from BURBERRY. Floral trench over graphic dark trousers. At Miu Miu they mixed plaid with leopard and stripes. Some women find it challenging mixing patterns. TIP: consider tweed a neutral and pair it with stripes or florals in similar tones.


Brooches are the jewellery piece to have. It adds interest to a suit and works well in multiples with a new romantic look.

Burgandy and forest green are 2 of the biggest colours for fall. In New York the stores were full of apparel in these colours.

Ankle boots with stacked heels. That’s all you need to know and all you need for footwear this fall. NEXT WEEK: Footwear focus


I chose to illustrate a mod dress with mix patterns playing on 2 of Fall’s big trends. As always my paper is from The Paper Place in Toronto. mod_mini

Photo Credits

Prada – both images from website

Calvin Klein – from website

Burberry – from  website

Miu Miu – from website